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Ex-firefighter who threatened to kill black couple indicted on 7 felony counts

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The former Savannah firefighter who went on a drunken, racist rampage in an Applebee’s restaurant and menaced a black couple with a gun has been indicted on seven felony counts of aggravated assault.

Savannah Now reported Thursday morning that former Capt. Barry Arnold — Savannah’s 2014 Firefighter of the Year — was indicted by a Chatham County grand jury for attacking and threatening to kill Marquist Curtis and Amber Phillips on October of 2015.

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“Marquist and Amber are glad this has finally been done,” said Will Claiborne, Curtis and Phillips’ attorney to WSAV. “Frustrated that it took so long. They’re happy to finally see the process move forward. They are one step closer to obtaining some justice to what happened to them and are looking forward to their day in court.”

Arnold is currently charged with 7 felonies: Two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of possession of a firearm, public drunkenness, simple battery and disorderly conduct.

Raw Story reported Wednesday that the four misdemeanor charges originally filed against Arnold had been quietly dropped. The victims and their supporters thought that Arnold’s race and connections to city government had ensured that prosecutor Meg Heap and the district attorney’s office were dragging their feet with regards to the case.

On a Friday night in October, 2015, Curtis and Williams found themselves threatened with murder during a racially charged run-in with a drunken Arnold. After Arnold violently attacked Curtis inside the restaurant, the altercation spilled outside, where — brandishing a gun and his fire department badge — Arnold told the victims he could murder them and get away with it under the law.

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Claiborne said that when Curtis and Phillips tried to flee back inside to get away, they found that restaurant workers had locked the door.

“If you have a drunken virulent racist in your establishment you have an obligation to everyone there to make that establishment safe,” the attorney said.

The restaurant is liable for its handling of the incident, Claiborne said, and arresting officers on the night of the crime only charged Arnold with four misdemeanors and did not cite him for attempting to drive away from the scene while intoxicated.

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“Law enforcement on the scene should’ve appropriately charged Mr. Arnold. He should’ve been taken immediately to jail,” Claiborne said. “He should’ve been booked on felony charges. If anyone else, particularly an African American, had committed these acts that individual would be put directly in jail and probably would still be there.”

No trial date is currently set for Arnold.


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Millions around the world joined #ClimateStrike — demanding bold climate action

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Masses of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change that teen activist Greta Thunberg said was "only the beginning" in the fight against environmental disaster.

Some four million people filled city streets around the world, organizers said, in what was billed as the biggest ever protest against the threat posed to the planet by rising temperatures.

Youngsters and adults alike chanted slogans and waved placards in demonstrations that started in Asia and the Pacific, spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, before culminating in the United States where Thunberg rallied.

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Trump announces new sanctions on Iran — and deploys US troops to the Middle East

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The United States announced Friday that it was sending military reinforcements to the Gulf region following attacks on Saudi oil facilities that it attributes to Iran, just hours after President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions on Tehran.

Trump said the sanctions were the toughest-ever against another country, but indicated he did not plan a military strike, calling restraint a sign of strength.

The Treasury Department renewed action against Iran's central bank after US officials said Tehran carried out weekend attacks on rival Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which triggered a spike in global crude prices.

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‘Do a lot of stupid sh*t as quickly as possible’: Ambassador Power breaks down ’The Trump Doctrine’

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The former ambassador to the United Nations explained "The Trump Doctrine" during a Friday evening interview with comedian Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time."

Samantha Power, the author of the new book, The Education of an Idealist, was asked by Maher about the foreign policy mantra of the Obama administration.

"Obama's foreign policy doctrine was famously summarized as 'don't do stupid sh*t," Maher noted. "Trump's, of course, is 'Do stupid sh*t.'"

"Do stupid sh*t as quickly as possible," Power clarified.

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